Joseph Ongaki Ondieki, Bachelor of Business Science: Actuarial Science

A message from my father “Chak Achaka”

2020 was a good year for me. Though I spent most of it behind a computer studying, I needed the silence to help me learn about myself and to charter a way forward for my future. I cherished the gift of time as it allowed me to reflect with less external distraction. Learning in the pandemic had its fair share of challenges, for example, loss of power; however, with study bundles provided by Strathmore University, I sought power wherever it was when need be. Over and above that, I did enjoy studying from home because it meant no morning and evening commute for me. It was a relief to not worry whether I will make it to class on time and the time saved from that was a bonus.

The language of numbers

Mathematics has always been a subject that I loved from an early age. Also, it is an integral part of my area of study. Like words engage an avid reader, working with numbers soothes my soul. It is this indulgence with numbers that have seen me become the current President of Strathmore Actuarial Students Society (SASS) and the lead of “DataFacts” an initiative that gives a deeper understanding of real-world phenomena through data and data analysis. Its insights are shared weekly through  Currently, it has 5 members, namely Sarah Kataka, Brian Thomas, Parita Panchal, and Chhavi Dhumeja – all actuarial science students at Strathmore University. As a team, we are working to grow and diversify our reader base to not only include Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) students but also Stratizens from other academic disciplines and other universities locally & beyond.

Carrying forward from 2020.

2020 showed me that at any point life can come to a standstill, no permission asked. With that in mind, the message my father shared, ‘Chak Achaka’, which means “just begin”, became clear. Barriers will always be part of our life’s journey and the constant need for improvement cannot be avoided.  From then I have chosen to be confident in doing what I aspire to do today for tomorrow is not a guarantee. I now think diversely as I acquire new knowledge on what I am passionate about. This helps spark a continuous hunger for seeking change that brings positive change to humanity in all I do whether in academia or personal life.

 Lastly, I would encourage my fellow Stratizens to be intentional. Be deliberate on the relations you have with others and how you spend your time daily.  As a result, we shall cause a ripple effect that positively impacts our daily encounters in society.  Find your passion and let it propel you to do good, whatever it is. For now, since I am not involved in any active sports, I will continue to glide my pen on paper as I mystify the language of numbers because Mathematics has a logical way of explaining facts and that speaks to me.


This article was written by Annete Wanjiru

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